It turns out, social media marketing doesn’t have to be same old, same old. More often than not, you scroll through social feeds or streams and see a celebrity or other popular user of the platform promoting an item by holding it or standing near it, with a bland smile and generic copy pasted into the photo’s description.
Now, of course, not every sponsored post plays out like this. But a lot do. And where’s the fun in that?
Through a new campaign, which launched last September, Viktor & Rolf took its Flowerbomb fragrance brand into the 21st century. The company combined brand messaging, hints of surrealism and whimsicality, and nodes of dreaminess, and created something exciting and new for influencers.
Instead of shipping various influencers bottles of their fragrance, Viktor & Rolf worked with influencer marketing platform Fohr Card to carefully select influencers who “match our consumer and embody our brand,” Laura Azaria, vp of marketing for European fragrances at L’Oréal USA, told Adweek.
“We weren’t interested in them just having a fragrance bottle in their hands, though we do love our bottle,” Azaria said. “It’s beautiful.”
Instead, Viktor & Rolf worked with various designers and the influencers themselves to create a lush flower-scape for influencers to interact with and eventually post on their own social channels.
“It was the perfect campaign for me to work with,” said Katie Rodgers, also known as @paperfashion on Instagram. Rodgers started to post her art online in 2009 while working full time before eventually quitting her job to pursue her own work a few years later.
“This totally captured the dream worlds that I try to paint, but it was IRL [in real life],” said Rodgers.
Her fans seemed to agree. In fact, a few of the #flowerbomb influencers saw more engagement on those particular photos than their usual posts, as reported by Fohr Card who managed the campaign. Rodgers saw a 45 percent increase over her normal engagement. Jeanne Grey, who posts on @thegreylayers with lifestyle and travel content, saw the highest engagement of the campaign, with 5.82 percent.
“Not only was this campaign unique and really visually appealing, but it also was great to have different creative styles come together,” Grey told Adweek. “The florist was there, a team of photographers was there, and we all created this one masterpiece at the same time.”
Grey, as her name might suggest, typically posts in a fairly monochromatic aesthetic. This wasn’t on purpose, her intentions weren’t to attract all her 194,000 followers with some kind of dulled beacon.
“Social media kind of fixed my life, even though normally it goes the other way around,” said Grey. “Things got better because it directed my aesthetic. By toning everything down, that simplified the mess of everyday life.”
A lot of Instagram profiles can become popular due to their consistent theme or overall color scheme; curating your Instagram feed, and choosing who to follow, is just as intimate as deciding what to post. To that end, viewing your feed is like dipping into your own private space that you got to decorate just how you like.
That’s what makes social influencers so powerful. Their fans, or audience, have chosen specifically whose content to pay attention to, whether its funny memes or twee photos of barns. Influencers understand how important that relationship is, and they don’t want to abuse that trust.
“For other influencers, it’s important to open conversation with those partners,” said Rodgers. “You might not right away feel like you want to do it, it may not feel quite right. But you’re allowed to feel more confident and ask if you can get more creative. Make it your own.”
“Partners are more open to your ideas than you might think,” she said. “This was something I felt would really resonate with my audience.”
“The relaunch of this 11-year-old campaign came with print advertisements, and this social campaign was a big portion of our overall plan,” said Azaria. “It felt new and different, and we were able to convey our aesthetic throughout.”
“We always want to continue to dream,” she said. “Marketers can’t just try to apply the same recipes that already exist, because it’s not enough anymore.”